The Nest

NestApple's Real Estate Blog

Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

Pros and Cons of Living in New Jersey in 2023

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New Jersey is a small yet diverse state on the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States that offers a blend of urban excitement, suburban charm, and natural beauty. It is renownedLiving in New Jersey for its proximity to New York City, lively culture, and beautiful beaches. However, like any other place, Living in New Jersey has pros and cons. The state is notorious for its high cost of living, environmental issues, congestion, travel, and extreme weather.

Pros of Living in New Jersey

1. Job Opportunities and Economic Stability 

With its proximity to major cities such as New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey offers ample finance, healthcare, and technology opportunities, making it an ideal location for job seekers.

2. Educational Excellence

New Jersey is known for its exceptional education system with high-quality standards, ranking consistently among the top in the nation. The state has excellent academic standards, highly qualified teachers, and a culture that fosters learning, contributing to its reputation.

New Jersey consistently scores above the national average in standardized tests, highlighting the effectiveness of its educational programs. The state invests in innovative teaching methods, technology, and extracurricular activities to provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for a successful future.

3. Cultural and Recreational Activities

New Jersey is a state that offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities for all tastes. You can visit world-class museums, theaters, beautiful parks, and beaches. Whether a history enthusiast, nature lover, or art buff, you will find something to enjoy in New Jersey.

The state provides many outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and water sports, from the picturesque Delaware Water Gap to serene beaches along the Atlantic coast.

4. Convenient Location

Living in New Jersey has many advantages, one of the most significant being its prime location. With New York City across the river, you can easily access various entertainment, dining, and career opportunities. It also provides a convenient commute for those who work or attend school in the city.

Additionally, New Jersey’s proximity to other major cities, such as Philadelphia and Baltimore, offers even more options to explore.

5. Diverse People and Food

New Jersey has a diverse population of people from all over the world. The state boasts a variety of ethnic neighborhoods and cultural attractions. Food enthusiasts will enjoy the rich culinary tapestry of the state, with a mix of classic Italian delicacies in Hoboken and fresh seafood along the Jersey Shore.

Regardless of your fine dining or street food preference, you will find your favorite cuisine in New Jersey.

6. Safe Communities

New Jersey is considered one of the safest states in the country, with a low crime rate. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, the violent crime rate in New Jersey is 2.2 per 1,000 people, and the property crime rate is 24.6 per 1,000 people, which is lower than the national average in both categories.

However, particular areas in New Jersey, such as Camden, Trenton, Paterson, and Atlantic City, are pretty unsafe. Therefore, conducting thorough research about the neighborhoods and areas is essential before deciding to move to New Jersey.

Cons of Living in New Jersey

1. High Cost of Living in New Jersey

New Jersey has a higher cost of living than the national average. Specifically, housing expenses and taxes are high, with median home prices exceeding the national average and one of the highest property tax rates in the country. As a result, homeowners may experience a significant financial burden.

However, home prices vary widely across the state, depending on the location and type of property.

2. Weather Variability

New Jersey’s climate can be pretty unpredictable. Heavy snowfall is expected during winters, while summers can be hot and humid. Due to its location in the center of the globe and along the US coast, New Jersey can experience a variety of weather conditions.

These weather conditions include high winds, tornadoes, thunderstorms, hailstorms, hurricanes, and extreme temperatures. If you prefer a more consistent climate, then New Jersey’s varied climate may be a drawback.

3. Urban Congestion and Commuting Challenges 

Living in New Jersey can mean enjoying the benefits of bustling cities with plenty of amenities, but it also comes with the typical congestion and noise of urban areas. As one of the most densely populated states in the country, traffic congestion can be a significant issue.

This problem is exacerbated by the state’s proximity to major cities, leading to heavy traffic and long commutes, especially during rush hour. While public transportation options are available, they may not always be as convenient or extensive as in some other states.

4. Travel Issues while Living in New Jersey

Traveling in New Jersey can be a challenge due to several issues. Firstly, public transportation costs are high, which can burden tourists and locals alike. In addition, gas prices are typically higher than the national average, making driving an expensive option. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), located in New Jersey, is ranked as the worst airport in the country due to its high number of delays and cancellations and limited public transportation options.

Getting to and from the airport can be a hassle, especially during peak hours. Furthermore, New Jersey’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, is aging and requires maintenance, which can cause traffic congestion and delays.

5. Environmental Challenges

New Jersey, one of the most densely populated US states, faces significant air and water pollution issues. The state is home to numerous industries, such as chemical manufacturing and refineries that release pollutants into the air, and the high population density and dense road network contribute to elevated levels of pollutants from vehicles.

Despite some improvements, challenges persist, particularly in areas around major cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Camden. Air pollution can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer.

Additionally, it can harm ecosystems, contributing to acid rain, soil degradation, and damage to plants and wildlife.

6. Living in New Jersey is Not for Everyone

New Jerseyans are a group of people who are known for their resilience, adaptability, and ambition. They are also known to be loud, loyal, and proud of their state. However, they are not well-known for being the friendliest or most welcoming people.

New Jersey has been ranked as the fifth least-friendly US state, at 47th place. Ultimately, your experience with the people of New Jersey will depend on your interactions and the people you engage with. If you have the resilience and adaptability to be a New Jerseyan, you will likely be comfortable with their in-your-face attitude and may even easily make friends.

Is New Jersey a Good Place to Live?

Moving to New Jersey can be an excellent decision for people who value a vibrant and diverse urban environment. The state offers numerous opportunities in terms of jobs, education, and cultural experiences. However, it’s essential to remember that the cost of living is higher, and you may face challenges like traffic and urban congestion.

New Jersey could be the perfect fit if you’re looking for a state with a robust economy, excellent schools, safe communities, and a convenient location. However, if you’re on a tight budget or sensitive to traffic congestion, extreme weather, or pollution, you might want to consider other states.

Fortune 500 companies, startups, and small businesses. New Jersey also has a high median income and high unemployment rate that provide stability for its residents.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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